Sri Lanka

Programme areas and target groups

  • Northern Sri Lanka: Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu
  • Eastern Sri Lanka: Batticaloa, Ampara

In Sri Lanka, we work with returnees both returned IDPs and returned refugees. Especially: female headed households, farmers, fishermen, livestock farmers, vulnerable families due to disability, domestic and gender based violence or mental health issues.

We also work with Community based organisations (CBOs), such as Farmer Organisations, Fishermen Cooperative Societies, Women Rural Development Societies, Community Centres and Self Help Groups (SHGs).

  • Food security & Livelihoods
  • Peacebuilding
  • Education

What we do in Sri Lanka

Eight years after the civil war ended, communities in the Eastern and Northern part of Sri Lanka still struggle to fully participate in social and economic development. They face challenges of social exclusion, economic isolation, ethnic tensions and trauma. Our programme is designed to maximize lasting change in the lives of beneficiaries and to build the capacity of partners, government and communities.

ZOA prioritises the creation and strengthening Civil Society Organisations and small groups like self-help groups (SHGs) at all levels. By the end 2017, there were 850 well-functioning Self Help Groups. In these groups, participants learn good financial practices while we also promote conflict resolution and nonviolent collective engagement.

Breaking the cycle of poverty

ZOA is also active in the field of livelihoods and food security. In 2017, more than 25 model farmers succeeded in upgrading their milk production and earn a sustainable income. We are now expanding the project. Within the fishing communities of some 2,500 families, we have worked to break the cycle of debt that kept them in poverty. So far, over 250 fishermen are free from debt. We work towards the establishment of a fair-trade market system.

ZOA’s programme has moved on from addressing lack of access to basic services, to development in all sectors through capacity building, peace building and education.

Empowering women

Women empowerment and equal opportunities is another important subject in our programme. In response to legislation that municipal and urban councils should consist of at least 25 percent female elected members, we trained 90 women to represent their communities. Twenty of them contested in local elections and five were elected in February 2018. It was a big step forward to representation of women.

Partners and donors

With funding from

EU, GIZ, UNHCR, UNOPS, EO, Government of Sri Lanka, CRS, MM Foundation, ZOA Netherlands and ZOA Business  Ambassadors.

In cooperation with

FOSDOO, Shanthiham, ESCO, OPEnE, BEdS, Y Gro, SLCDF, Sirakugal, OISD, F3.